The iPhone Finds Its Voice
by Walt Mossberg October 11, 2011
Sometimes, as we all know, looks can be deceiving. While Apple's latest iPhone doesn't look different, and may not be the kind of blockbuster people expect from the late Steve Jobs's company, it thinks different, to quote one of Apple's old ad slogans. Inside its familiar-looking body there lurks a nascent artificial-intelligence system that has to be tried to be believed.
Apple's fifth-generation iPhone, the $199 iPhone 4S, goes on sale Friday with a new operating system and a new cloud-synchronization service called iCloud. But, while its insides have been significantly improved, the phone's exterior design is identical to that of last year's iPhone 4, which Apple says is the best-selling smartphone in the world.
I've been testing the 4S for about a week to see how it differs from the previous model. I also evaluated the key features added by the new operating system, called iOS 5, including a new, free text-messaging service; deep integration with Twitter; and the ability to edit photos right on the phone. This new software will be available as a free upgrade for owners of the iPhone 4 and the2009-vintage iPhone 3GS, as well as for Apple's iPad tablet and its iPod Touch.
...***** Moderator's Note *****
I think the most trenchant remark in the article is this one:
Despite Siri, the iPhone 4S isn't a dramatic game-changer like some previous iPhones. Some new features are catch-ups to competitors. I sense Apple chose to focus more on software and cloud service than on hardware.
Bill Horne Moderator